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The new year is a great time for reflection. It gives an opportunity to assess one’s life and make commitments for improvement. The same can be said for homeownership. Flip over the calendar and use 2017 to improve your home-owning experience!

1. Save Money

Simple tasks and reminders can lower your monthly bill payments. Those monthly savings stack up quickly over the course of a year. This year, make sure to:

Turn off Lights and Appliances: Bring your electricity bill down! Keep lights off when you are out of the house or when natural light is available. Unplug appliances when you’ll be gone for extended periods of time. It’s simple, but this quick task can have a big effect over time.

Use Less Water: Set a time limit for showers; turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth; only run your dish washer with full loads! Again, it’s simple, but it all adds up.

Insulate: Proper insulation helps your heating and cooling system work more efficiently. When it’s hot, the cool air stays in. When it’s cold, the warmth stays in. Caulking, window plastic and foam insulation can keep you and your utility bill comfortable.

Make an extra payment: Making an extra payment every year can help you complete your mortgage years early and could save you money on interest.

2. Improve Safety

Improve your home and habits to make 2017 a safe year.

Check and replace smoke detector batteries: It’s easy to forget or ignore this task. Put it on your list and get it done! It could save you more than just money…

Research home security systems: Keep unwanted visitors out! With smart technology making its way into homes, options for surveillance and remote access are broader than ever. Companies like Frontpoint and GetSafe offer a variety of plans for your specific needs.

Have a plan: You never no when an emergency situation could arise. Make sure you’re ready. Sit down with your family to discuss scenarios and possible actions. Write it down and purchase supplies ahead of time.

We recommend home security specialist Kelli Lawrence of KDL Resource Group for security consultations.

3. Simplify

Start your year well by simply getting rid of some stuff. Nix the clutter and reclaim your space!

It’s stylish: Freeing up space makes for easier decorating and arranging. Plus, it gives your home a clean, simple look. We recommend Judy Blair for arranging and decorating!

It’s safe: Removing clutter reduces risk for fire and makes escape easier.

It feels good:  Throwing out unneeded items can be liberating. Trim the unnecessary, simplify, and gain a sense of control over your space.

4. Get it Fixed

There’s no better time than now to improve your home. Face problems head on and commit to solving them.

Hire an inspector: An inspector can see things in a home that most can’t. They will let you know what’s wrong and how to fix it. We recommend Nick Welty for home inspections.

Make a list: Write down what needs to be done so you can check items off as they’re completed. This will make your task feel finite and allow you to check items off as they are completed.

5. Assess your home’s value

Markets shift from year to year. Your home could be worth more than you think. We have people and resources to help define your home’s value and evaluate your options! Give us a call at 816.716.5172 or email at [email protected]!

Visit our resources page to view our list of skilled vendors who can help you accomplish your 2017 home resolutions!

We hope your 2017 is fulfilling and successful. Happy New Year!